When you pack for a trip do you make a list and then check everything off or do you just go for it and throw everything together and head out?
For me it is all about a Microsoft OneNote based packing list which is broken down into sections like Tech, Clothes and for this trip Motorcycle since I am going to ride my Harley up to Atlanta from North East Florida - about a 350 mile ride. I usually have to fly for events like this so I am really looking forward to heading up there on two wheels!
However, as you prepare for a trip to a conference like Ignite, being ready for what you expect/want to accomplish is a key aspect of your packing as well.
Yesterday, Lisa and I published an article we co-authored about being remote workers and how we approach our work days. Each of us have a different method for getting our daily tasks done that works for each one of us.
So one of the things I am first expecting about next week at Ignite is actually working alongside my colleagues Lisa (from the SuperSite: Windows) and Michael (from our sister site ITPro: Windows). I am really looking forward to coordinating our coverage in person rather than via Slack which is our normal communications channel.
The next area I pay attention to leading up to a big event like Ignite is content and for next week I am going to focus in on anything and everything I can about Windows 10. While many are still not onboard with Microsoft's new operating system, it is the future of computing if you use Windows and at some point you will make that move as you purchase a new PC or other Windows based device.
My goal is to get into these Windows 10 related sessions at Ignite and find the jewels about the OS that impact you whether you are an enthusiast, prosumer or an IT Pro.
Next on my list is the Expo Show Floor where Microsoft partners and Ignite sponsors will be showing off their latest and greatest tools, services and products that can help you work even better with Microsoft technologies and services. I am yet to attend one of these big shows and not find a unique product or service that is on the brink of really making a difference to our daily tech whether for personal or business use. Plus, based on my email inbox leading up to Ignite, a lot of these companies have something in the hopper they plan to announce during the conference so the hunt is definitely on.
After the Expo there is the Microsoft Showcase that encompasses the main show floor area.
The Microsoft Showcase is where all of the Microsoft products, services and other technologies will be represented. Those areas will be represented by Microsoft Program Managers and yes, some marketing folks, but it is a chance to see demos and talk to the people intimately involved in their creation.
It was a similar showcase in San Francisco earlier this year at BUILD 2016 that connected me with a Surface Engineer who helped me understand the firmware and other setup issues I was experiencing as I started using a Surface Book.
Interactions and opportunities like that do not happen everyday so it is another reasons I plan to get into the showcase and really see what I can learn about these products and services.
The final element of a trip like this for me is making contacts and networking with people who I interact with daily through social media and other channels. There is so much value in meeting someone face to face and establishing that rapport with them.
If you will be at Ignite look me up and find me in and around the conference as I will be there all week. Plus make sure you follow all of our coverage here at SuperSite: Windows and over on ITPro: Windows.